Trump's budget eliminates some NASA programs, boosts others

Trump Budget Request Kills ARM, Supports SLS/Orion and Public Private Partnerships

In addition, it proposes slashing $100 million from Nasa's earth sciences programme, largely by cancelling four climate-related missions. It also reinvigorates robotic exploration of the solar system by providing $1.9 billion for the Planetary Science programme, including funding for a mission to repeatedly fly by Jupiter's icy ocean moon Europa and a Mars rover that would launch in 2020.

The Trump Administration proposal, called "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again", contradicts the "NASA Transition Authorization Act" a project presented in 2017 and approved by both the House and the Congress.

Finally there's the CLARREO Pathfinder, a Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory, to be launched in 2020, which measures heat in the earth's atmosphere for the goal of collecting accurate climate change data. US astronauts have been forced ever since to hitch rides to and from the International Space Station on Russian rockets. NASA is now working under funding approved by a continuing resolution that expires April 28.

President Donald Trump is certainly shaking things up with his first budget proposal, and the fiscal 2018 plan has made a lot of people unhappy for a number of things, not least of which is what it does to NASA.

Science funding as a whole makes up only 1 percent of the federal budget and has declined slightly since 2010, according to the American Geophysical Union. Nye asserted that funding increases at this modest level would keep the space agency on course to reach the Red Planet by the 2030s. This continuing resolution expires on 28 April, and now many are wondering whether Congress will simply pass another one in October, when the 2018 fiscal year begins.

The budget also expands NOAA's ability to use commercial weather data to improve its weather models, and it gives more than $1 billion to the National Weather Service to maintain the agency's forecasting abilities.

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Meanwhile, the human spaceflight program was left as-is, which means NASA will not be refocusing on taking another moonshot, but still intends to send astronauts to Mars by the 2030s.

Overall, the budget request is about what you'd expect from Trump's White House.

"Supports and expands public-private partnerships as the foundation of future US civilian space efforts". This is a smart way to free more of NASA's limited resources for more-distant missions.

Robert Lightfood, NASA's acting administrator, wasn't critical of the proposed cuts.

The president's budget request for NASA is traditionally borne of back-and-forth negotiations between the space agency and the Office of Management and Budget - an office within the executive branch that comes up with the numbers the president wants the government to spend each year. It's possible his plans for space could become clearer, and better. The institutes will suffer a "major reorganisation" and will switch focus to "the highest priority research and training activities", the budget proposal reads. The NSF is one of the main drivers of research and development in the US, an area where the country is already falling behind other nations, she said. The budget proposal justifies this move by explaining that the agency's education office has never managed to be effective so they aren't exactly yanking education funding so much as allowing NASA's Science Mission Directorate to be solidly in control of the agency's educational programs. 'The NSF budget tends to follow the discretionary budget fairly closely, so if the administration is proposing a 10% reduction or more for non-defence discretionary spending, it seems reasonable that the NSF would be cut as well, ' says Matt Hourihan, who heads the AAAS's R&D budget and policy programme.

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